The New Pornographers
Brill Bruisers (Matador)
This Canadian ensemble that features AC Newman, Neko Case and Dan Bejar (a.k.a. Destroyer), alongside Blaine Thurier, John Collins, Kathryn Calder, Kurt Dahle and Todd Fancey, never disappoints. Newman has described their first studio effort in four years, as a "celebration." It's certainly apt as the songs here almost demand that you turn them up loud. The opening title track features vintage sounding synths and soaring strings, like something from the '60s. The jittery "War on the East Coast" suggests the band hasn't lost its ear for a good power pop hook and sounds like a cross between the Beatles and Guided by Voices. Falsetto vocals distinguish the rowdy "Dancehall Domine." It's somehow appropriate that the band will release a special limited edition coffee in conjunction with the album: The music here is definitely caffeinated.